The NWT’s health authority on Monday published its flu clinic calendar for the fall of 2020, urging residents: “Getting the flu shot is more important than ever.”
Flu clinics begin on October 13 in many Beaufort Delta and Sahtu communities. They commence in Hay River and Fort Smith in the latter half of October, and in Yellowknife from October 27. Clinics begin in Dehcho and Tlicho communities on November 2.
Flu and Covid-19 share many symptoms, making the coming flu season an uncertain time as the pandemic evolves.
The territory’s health authority said getting the flu shot would help reduce the chance of needing a Covid-19 test.
Residents already experiencing flu-like symptoms are asked not to visit a flu clinic until their symptoms have cleared.
Flu shots will be available at walk-in clinics (in some communities) or by booking an appointment at a local health centre. Essential workers and those most vulnerable to the flu will have the option of early access to clinics, the health authority said.
Social distancing and face masks will be required at clinics and health centres.
“The chief public health officer recommends that NWT residents get their flu shots as incidences of respiratory infections will increase in the coming weeks as more people gather indoors at school and work,” read a news release issued by the health authority.
“By getting vaccinated, residents can help lessen the burden on the territory’s testing system – which will help healthcare professionals trace and respond to Covid-19 cases quickly.”
The territory expects demand for flu shots to double this year, and has ordered 28,000 doses of the vaccine.